I was reminded today that we must look past the future for hope. You may think that makes me crazy. Maybe so. But let me share a story that illustrates what I mean.
Bethany was 32. She was a wife to David and mother of three (Isaac, Jude, & Naomi). She dedicated her life to serve alongside her husband as missionaries in Peru. She was fun. She was loved. And then she was gone.
It was cancer.
She had only just returned to the United States with her family for the holidays. The diagnosis went from bad to worse and then she was gone.
“Gone where?” you might ask. Well, that would be my point. I get immersed in the first part of that story. The part where there is work and there is pain and there is grief. It is our life, after all. It’s all we know. But there is more. And that is where I need to look past the future: the future of my job; the future of my family; the future of my home. Don’t get me wrong. Those are all important. But there is more.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal…for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
As I reflect on the tragic loss of Bethany, I realize I hardly deserved to call her or David close friends, but the loss has impacted me and many who knew them in a profound way. I cannot imagine the pain they feel. Words are not enough. Even as we are reminded of her hope, the pain of her loss grips those who loved her most.
It’s not an easy thing this “looking past the future.” It means I have to value the next life more than this one. It means I have to do things that feel unnatural. It means I have to forsake my present future for the distant future God is calling me too.
But if I can do that. If for just a second, I can remember the promise of a home far better than this one..I can feel a bit of peace. I can know that for people like Bethany who have followed Jesus, the real future is just beginning. That is the forever future. That is the redeemed future. And that is better than anything we can imagine.
Pray with me that God will give the Lytle/Atwood family a peace that is beyond understanding and a hope that is secure.
If you would like to show your care in a tangible way, please donate to help with medical and other expenses.